Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Thursday Thirteen (Albums)

13 Kick-Ass Albums

1) Nevermind (1989), Nirvana - Back in high school, when indie-rock meant rock and not new-agey men whining in high-pitched tones to depressive chords, I remember sitting in my A.P. biology class listening to "Teen Spirit" feeling a mixture of building excitement and awe.

2) Pretty Hate Machine (1989), Nine Inch Nails - My first year of college was dominated by this album. I listened to it constantly, and through it tapped into some of my darker more interesting depths. Listening to it now, it makes me think of sex. The kind of naughty sex that makes you feel deliciously powerless and possessed, like you can't stop your legs from melting into the floor.

3) Mental Jewelry (1991), Live - I've seen Live four times, more times than I've seen any other band. In 1994, I went to Woodstock '94 (the one before the one where all the girls were pressured to show their boobs) with my brother Frey and two guy friends. We slept in a tent, got covered in mud, crowd-surfed, and saw Greenday, NIN, Metallica, Live and many other artists perform. It was unbelievably awesome.

4) Live Through This (1994), Hole - What can I say? I'm drawn to angry rock, particularly to women who kick ass, which Courtney Love does on this album. It speaks to something deep inside of me that gets happy when it hears kindred voices screaming into the void. My second year of college, I wrote countless journal entries while listening to "Violet" on repeat. That song rocked my world.

5) Garbage (1995), Garbage - Strong, sexy, playful and sultry. In the midst of the feminist consciousness-raising I went through when I discovered Women's Studies in college, I became drawn to bands like Garbage, Elastica, Belly, Breeders, L7, Bikini Kill, and of course, the greatest of them all, Ani Difranco. To me, Garbage's "Stupid Girl" was a social commentary on non-feminist women as stupid slaves to the patriarchy.

6) Elastica (1995), Elastica - In addition to creating an awesome punk-rock album, Elastic wrote one of the greatest songs of female sexual empowerment, "Stutter." "Don't feed me a line boy, I can hear that voice you use upon the phone. And there's no need to be coy, that is something you can do upon your own. Well, it isn't a problem. Nothing we can't solve, so just relax. Am I on the wrong train love? And will I have to tie you to the tracks?"

7) Dilate, (1996) Ani Difranco - My love affair with all things Ani began with the 1991 album Not So Soft. With Dilate, and songs like "Untouchable Face," "Napoleon," and "Superhero," my love turned to intense obsession that lasted through the rest of my 20s. She is fierce, feminist, incredibly talented, intelligent, funny, and socially aware. I could easily tell the story of the last ten years of my life through her songs, because they've been such an integral part of my experience.

8) Universal Mother (1994), Sinead O'Connor - I came across this album in my first year out of college, and so it always reminds me of the time I lived in my small, cave-like, eggplant-purple painted room in D.C. while I was taking "time off," bar-tending, and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. If you haven't listened to "Red Football," you have to. Right now.
I'm not no red football
To be kicked around the garden
No no
I'm a red christmas - tree ball
And I'm fragile
I'm not no animal
Though I am to you
I'm not no crocodile
Like the one in Dublin Zoo
Who lived in a cage
The length and breadth of his body
When a window which people would look through
And throw coins on his back to taunt him 'though he couldn't move
Even if he wanted to
I'm not no animal in the zoo
I'm not no whipping boy for you
You may not treat me like you do
I'm not no animal in the zoo
My skin is not a football for you
My head is not a football for you
My body's not a football for you
My womb is not a football for you
I'm not no animal in the zoo
This animal will jump up and eat you
I'm not no animal in the zoo
And I've every intention
Of leaping up and getting you
la la la la la la la....

9) From the Choirgirl Hotel (1998), Tori Amos - I listened to this album during two of the happiest, most carefree years of my life, the two years I "took off" between college and Law School. I took art classes and lived right next door to one of my best friends. I was broke and working hard, but I had a blast, and I felt engaged with the world, and myself, and inspired.

10) Flaming Red (1998), Patty Griffin - Patty Griffin has a haunting voice that brings depth and beauty to her songs. I will forever associate this album with studying for Law School finals, and all of the delirious fun I had with my friend Wood making outlines buried in the library.

11) Hybrid Theory (2000) - I don't know what it is about Linkin Park that I love, but love them I do. And songs like "In the End" and "Numb," roaring with internal torment, pain, and angry desperation, are perfect to work out to. Meteora (2003) is even better than Hybrid Theory.

12) Hot Fuss (2004), The Killers - High energy and infectious, the whole album is great. Be wary though if you choose to do "Mr. Brightside" for Karaoke - it takes a lot of stamina.

13) Give Up (2003), Postal Service - While not kicking-ass in a traditional, high-intensity way, it made my list because of one song, "This Place is a Prison." I've probably played it while at work a few hundred times, because frankly, this place is.

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InterstellarLass said...

I have not heard of many of these albums, but I will have to check them out. I remember the impact Nirvana had on many of my friends. I didn't understand it, but I could definitely respect it. And ANY song sung by Trent is a turn-on. Something about that man's voice...

Brony said...

Boy am I every out of date on music.

Kailani said...

Sounds like you're into some pretty heavy punk rock music! Great choices! Happy T13 and thanks for stopping by!

MommyBa said...

#1 is just an awesome album!

Have a great weekend!

Stace said...

awesome list and blog

Gypsy said...

For some reason I missed the whole Nirvana thing. I mean, I was there. I was the right age. I was enjoying the other grunge rock right alongside it (hello, yummy Mr. Vedder). But it just slipped right past me.

My all-time favorite chick rocker is Liz Phair. I like to sing HWC while cleaning the house. It makes Lancelot very uncomfortable.

Great list!

Caledonia said...

I love Garbage which about the only thing I recognise on that list. *blush*

Southern Girl said...

I can't say I'm familiar with many of those, but I do *adore* Patty Griffin's song "Mary." :)

Thanks for visiting my TT!